Summary: This is a message about living a life that is pleasing to God.
Introduction: A Catholic Bishop recently asked a Yoga group to leave there facility believing the teacings involved in yoga to be contrary to the Catholic churches teaching. The pastor of the church was outraged and proclaimed to the Bishop that Catholic teaching was mere dogma whereas yoga is a lifestyle. Sadly, for far too many in the church being a Christian is not about living a certain "lifestyle." We go to church to be made to feel good and be replenished after a wild and worldly week. Why are you here today? – Music, fellowship, good preaching? What’s church offer me? It’s not about YOU!
Historical Setting: Prophet from Judea to Israel (like me from MI – to SC). Harsh Language is used to get across a very serious point.
ANTE-THEME – 3 character traits, 4 results if not…
Proposition: If we truly wish to honor God we must consistently…
I. Be just (v. 24a)
A. What exactly is Justice?
1. Golfing Pastor Illustration
2. WWJD, This is not what Israel was doing
B. We need to be like refreshing waters (thirst)
1. Numerous Scripture references to water/thirst (Examples)
2. As X’s we are to be a source of refreshment to the world
II. Be righteous (v. 24b)
A. What is righteousness?
2. Maurice Besenger claims to be a Christian yet fights to fly the confedrate flag!
B. Like ever-flowing stream
1. Importance of consistency in our walk
2. Wilkinson Hotel Illustration Christian conference witnessing to the manager. Turns out 60% of hotel rooms paid for the sex channels that night
III. Be God-centered (v. 26)
A. Israel’s sin – Worshipping Idols
1. Of course we don’t carry any gods
2. Money, Sex, Status, Self – we are a society of self-medicators
B. These gods can never satisfy (Micah 6:8 – SCC)
Otherwise, God will not…
I).Delight in our festivals & assemblies (v. 21)
1). In their day – fest of lights, Passover, fest of booths, Pentecost
1).Their day – Sabbath,
2).Regular meetings – Sunday,
II). Accept our tithes and offerings (v. 22)
A).Do you? You need to!
1). In a worthy manor
2).Visiting Pastor Illustration
B). He doesn’t need our offerings, He wants them (v. 25)
1) The cattle on a thousand hills
2) Do you really trust God? – Where your treasure is...
III).Hear our worship (v. 23)
A). What you do not what you say
B). It’s not about the entertainment value! In fact, He may even…
IV).Exile of pseudo believers (v. 27)
A) Church at Laodicea
B) Many churches today hold their service without God
1) Shift away from light into darkness
2) The Most scary words of all time "Depart from me..."
CONCLUSION: What’s your heart like? It matters to God. (Hosea 6:6 – I desire mercy, not sacrifice).
GOLFING PASTOR JUSTICE:
Once there was a man who was such a golf addict that he was neglecting his job. Frequently he would call in sick as an excuse to play.
One morning, after making his usual call to the office, an angel up above spotted him on the way to the golf course and decided to teach him a lesson. "If you play golf today, you will be punished," the angel whispered in his ear.